Saturday, January 31, 2009

Sunlit Branches

"Sunlit Branches", 2008
Prismacolor colored pencil on paper, 9 1/2" x 7"

This colored pencil work was developed from my reference photograph of this old tree. It was taken in the afternoon with the sun shining on the branches. The tree is in the Mass Audubon's Welfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary in Welfleet, MA. This 1,100 acre preserve has salt marsh, beach, woodlands, a fresh water pond, and a heathland. It is a wonderful source of inspiration for paintings and drawings.
"Sunlit Branches" was begun with a very light graphite drawing of the tree. After completing such initial drawings, I often lighten the lines with a kneaded eraser until they can barely be seen. A graphite drawing will show through colored pencil. Then I begin with my lightest color and continue to add layer upon layer of ever darkening colors. Keeping the pencil point very sharp enables you to have more complete color coverage by getting the pencil color into the tooth of the paper. If your pencil point is rounded, the point will hit the high parts of the paper leaving white dots in your color. I use a tiny circular stroke to apply the pencil.

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